This past week we got dramatic examples on the limits of democracy. Let's dispatch Brexit fast as the "revocatorio" will require some details.
Some claim that Brexit was an exercise in Democracy and sovereignty. But this week has shown that it was anything but. From the quick collapse of Boris Johnson to the obvious intentions of a few in the Tories to remove Cameron at all costs, without forgetting Corbyn's naked intent at turning Labour into a British version of PODEMOS (or is that English now?) we can see that the voters interests were, well, accessory. Now Scotland is veering fast towards a new independence vote while the idiots that did not bother voting are now marching in the streets of London. And never mind the flow of racism that opened after Brexit, showing clearly what the vote was for some.
The saddest part of all this is that not only the UK voter took unnecessary risks to exert their "esprit de clocher" (podunkness?), but they are dragging Europe down with them, breaking up a peace zone that was so difficult to build up. Now that I think of it Europe should also have been voting as to whether keep Britain in. Things would be clearer today, for better or for worse.
The revocatorio in Venezuela is quite another expression of the limits of democracy, but with cruel fascist political garbage to boot. The objective here is that 20% of the electoral body can sign up, under certain conditions, to ask for a recall election of any given elected official. This may work out in countries like the US where people are used to register with a political group and where the given political group can never take for granted the amount of people that claim intent to vote for them.
But in savages country like Venezuela, a recall election is a sure way to destroy the secrecy of vote. It happened in a really bad way in 2004 with the Tascon list (yours truly was denied passport for a while for having signed up to recall Chavez, to give you an example). But now, without Chavez and with a group of renegades on top with too many crimes to confess, a recall election is out of question and any, ANY pseudo-legal trick will be tried to avoid such an election.
The latest one is that after an arduous process to collect 2% of preliminary signatures (not because of the lack of will of the voters to sign up but because of all the political pressure exerted by the regime to block the signature drive) rumors are that the regime will toss away these signatures anyway. The argument? A handful of signatures were ill collected and thus none of the million + is valid. Never mind that the electoral bord, CNE, supposedly did its job by filtering and rejecting already 600,000 signature including some of those from opposition leaders that signed in public, in front of news cameras.
What we see here is the profound anti democratic reasoning of chavismo. Since this one has had no convincing argument, for years now, their only debating strategy is to negate all because of one. That is, you can advance 100 solid arguments, if one is slightly shaky this will be used by chavismo as a proof that the other 99 are worthless. Self exempting themselves along from sustaining their own arguments, by the way. Note, such systemic reasoning is not exclusive of chavismo as we could see in some of the comments in my previous entry, quite similar to those of chavismo in the days where they infested all opposition blogs.
Thus in addition of the Venezuelan high court preparing itself to destroy the will of the people, we already see the regime creating a new version of the Tascon list with those poor sols that signed over a month ago. And the victims are the 8% that signed, even though the CNE "rejected" a good third of them. For apartheid, they are suddenly all valid.
As a I wrote, thus went away the secrecy of vote in Venezuela. The remarkable thing is that in spite of this, in spite of incredible regime pressure, 8% managed to sign. And this is duly noted when even Obama getting out of his reserve, forgetting for a while his tractations with Cuba, clearly stated that the recall election should go in Venezuela (timely this year, according to may others as a 2017 a recall election would be useless according of the shitty constitution of Chavez).
Churchill said that democracy was a messy system of rule, but that no better system had yet been invented. And probably will not. So we are left to try to improve the workings of democracy. Direct people rule is showing its limits fast. Even Athens, the copy right holder, succumbed to its excesses. With visceral reactions on twitter, facebook and other such easy access media people vote more and more through their gut feeling, electing the like of Chavez, or finding easier to bring down worthwhile instituions rather than reform them because of too many pakis.
For all what is worth, nothing pretty much, my provisional solution is to reinforce representative democracy. Shorter terms and strict term limits on executive positions should be installed to avoid the need for recall elections. Federalism should be increased. As for referenda, mandatory vote should be required, or at least that results are only binding if 50% of registered voters approves the question.
One can always dream, no?